FORT HOOD — With Fort Hood’s training at risk and cuts to family programs and civilian furloughs highly likely because of a combination of budget shortfalls, two of the post’s representatives in Congress offered a solution they plan to present in Washington, D.C.
At a news conference in front of Fort Hood’s main gate Friday, U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, with U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Weatherford, standing next to him in support, said he plans to bring an appropriations bill up for a vote that would allow the Defense Department and military leaders to move money around between accounts despite operating under a “continuing resolution,” a type of legislation used by Congress to fund government agencies when a formal fiscal year budget has not been approved.
The plan would not stop the $18 billion shortfall the Army is facing between the continuing resolution and sequestration. During the news conference, Carter continually referred to “the Obama sequester,” as “bad for America,” despite having voted in favor of it in 2011.
“There’s still going to be cuts, but this allows them to rearrange their money to make sure the Army’s priorities are met,” said Carter, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “It’s going to pass the House with ease. It’s going to have a bipartisan passing.”
The bill is being drafted and should be introduced within the next week or two, according to Carter’s office.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno told “CBS This Morning” on Friday that the inability to work with a regular budget is a big problem for Army leaders.
“I’ve been the chief of staff of the Army for 18 months and I’ve never had a budget. We’ve always had a continuing resolution,” he said. “So it’s like a double problem that we have right now. So we need predictability in the budget cycle and we need to make sure that the cuts we get are managed appropriately so we can put a plan together so we can protect our soldiers, so they can do the job we’re asking them to do.”